Democrats seize US House control, but shutdown impasse remains

Evan Vucci  APPresident Donald Trump speaks in the press briefing room at the White House Jan. 3 2019 in Washington

Evan Vucci APPresident Donald Trump speaks in the press briefing room at the White House Jan. 3 2019 in Washington

Democrats wish to put an end to the partial government shutdown, but Republicans called the move "political theatre" in a new period in the Donald Trump era.

"Democrats will have to get serious about border security so that a government funding agreement may be reached that can pass the House, earn 60 votes here in the Senate, and receive a presidential signature", Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said.

Trump appeared at the hastily organized briefing to congratulate Democratic Rep. Nancy Pelosi on her election as the next House speaker and to reiterate his demand for a southern border wall. "We are not doing a wall". During her speech, Tlaib, a Democrat, spoke of a conversation she had with her son, going on to say that President Donald Trump will be impeached.

But Pelosi will also have to pursue the Democratic agenda, with plenty of opportunities to confront President Trump.

The partial U.S. government shutdown began when Congress and Mr Trump failed to reach an agreement over a budget bill in December.

She reiterated that they will bring up legislation Thursday to reopen parts of the government and pledged to have a House that's "transparent, bipartisan and unifying".

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Jordan is unlikely to vote for any proposal that doesn't include Trump's full request, but one of the byproducts of Democrats taking back the House is that Jordan's vote is irrelevant.

"It's too important a subject to walk away from".

The partial government shutdown began on December 22. The president has tangled often with Pelosi and is sure to do so again with Democrats controlling the House, but he said, "I think it'll be a little bit different than a lot of people are thinking".

According to USA media, citing officials familiar with the talks, Trump at one point told Democrats that he would "look foolish" if he backed down from his demand.

The president is due to resume budget talks with top Democrats and Republicans on Friday.

Trump said his meeting with the union officials had always been planned and just happened to come at "a very opportune time". Democrats disagree, with Pelosi calling the wall immoral, ineffective and expensive.

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Trump later on Thursday made an unannounced appearance in the White House briefing room to make the case for the border wall, accompanied by members of a union that represents border patrol agents that endorsed him for president in 2016.

The resolution H.R. 21 would fund the Departments of Agriculture, Commerce, Housing and Urban Development (HUD), Justice, Interior, State, Transportation, and the Treasury through 30 September, while the resolution H.R.1 would fund the Department of Homeland Security through 8 February.

A veto threat issued by the White House against the House bills read: "The Administration is committed to working with the Congress to reopen lapsed agencies, but can not accept legislation that provides unnecessary funding for wasteful programs while ignoring the Nation's urgent border security needs". Contrary to the President's demands for $5 billion for a border wall, however, the legislation does not provide any new wall funding, setting up an early confrontation between the new Democratic majority and the administration.

In the past, Congress has approved back pay for federal workers, but the American Federation of Government Employees, which announced the lawsuit on Monday, called the requirement to work without pay "inhumane". "But essentially we need protection in our country".

Visitors to Smithsonian museums, among Washington's most popular tourist attractions, were being turned away during the shutdown, as were visitors to numerous nation's federal parks.

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